20% Rip-Off: When Will Apple Pass on their Exchange Rate Windfall?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by thodi, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. thodi macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2007
    Mac Exchange Rate Rip-Off - 19% Overpriced in Australia Compared to US Prices at Current Exchange Rate (.92c)

    Firstly I love my Apple stuff all of it, it is the best and I will pay a premium price for it ... but ...

    My point here is to complain about the exchange rate profit windfall apple have enjoyed should now be passed on to the consumer. I'm not going to buy until it has and encourage others to do the same, it is the only way (aside from buying a Windows machine - perish the thought!!!!)

    From my calculations you will pay around 19% more if you buy from the Australian website than if you buy from the US website ... the saving is almost enough to make it worth while to fly to the US and buy it there with conversions and bring it stuff back in person!

    … I want a new MacBook Pro, and also an iTouch and Apple TV but from my
    calculations (below, including Sales tax of 10% in USA) Apple are charging
    Australians 19% more than US customers … for shipping and a different powerpack! And the shipping should probably not even be a factor as hardware comes directly from Asia.

    Here are the numbers, please correct them if I am wrong ... note I've included 10% sales tax to the US costs (as they are not quoted with sales tax on apple.com but they do include gst on apple.com.au) ...

    US Prices:=========================================== =====

    MacBook Pro 17 250G HiRes $US3049
    iTouch 16G US$399
    AppleTV 160Gig US$399
    = US$3847
    +10% Sales Tax

    => $4231.7
    Convert to AU$ (@92c) is:
    = $4599 AU

    Australian Prices=========================================

    MacBookPro: AU$4368
    iTouch: AU$549
    TV: AU$579

    => AU$5496

    So AU$900 of over pricing.

    = 19% more than US Customers!!!!!!!!!!


    Please join me in complaining. It may make no difference but then again someone who matters might well take note ...
  2. MarlboroLite macrumors 6502a


    Oct 29, 2007
    the 13 colonies
    From what I've read, Apple has been known to decrease prices due to exchange rates in the past when it comes out with new or refreshed products. For example the SR MacBook Pro was reduced by 100 pounds in the UK in June and when you excluded the VAT was almost the same price as US. Leopard was sold for $129 in Canada as well as the US brining it to parity now that the Canadian dollar is worth more.

    That's the nature of global business, exchange rates go up and down and you will eventually benefit when they come out with new products but the US dollar is weakening at almost a record pace so you cannot expect retailers to suddenly drop prices if you aren't willing to also take in the increases when it's time for your currency to drop. There is usually a lag time of a few months, but ultimately you will always have to pay a small premium even if the Australian dollar goes above 1 for 1 due to the smaller economic market.
  3. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    As well as whatever import/duty fees your country may impose. I don't know specifics with Australia, but certain South American countries (ahem, Brazil where Cisco was just nabbed for avoiding duty) can be close to 50% of the cost of the import item; which means nearly 100% duty. :eek:
  4. Canerican macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2006
    Does it really matter? If Apple is charging to much in your country A) buy it somewhere else, B) Don't buy it.
    Apple definately has no duty to charge less than they charge in America. In America there is generally more competition for commercial goods, therefore prices are lower. In the UK internet access costs less, whatever, I'm not going to tell Verizon that they should lower my bill to make it on par with Verizon.
  5. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2005
    Little grey, chilly island.
    Very insightful...

    Of course it matters. The point here is that actually, it isn't globally fair to have different pricing structures across different countries - some would say.

    However, I've argued on this matter before - there are many things that the OP hasn't taken into account. Cost of workforce, nationwide economic climates, average wages etc etc.

    It may be for example, that the cost of manufacture (or what little they do over in UK) is very expensive. It may be, the cost of keeping open a retail store is more expensive, or shipping, or staffing costs...

    What I'm saying is that each and every country needs to be economically viable to keep doing business. And the different economic climate of the various countries does demand slightly different pricing structures. I haven't worked out the differentiation between UK and US prices, but I'm sure it's in line with higher wages and costs of property/leases over on this grey chilly island.
  6. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    You have to remember that Apple are also suffering from the weak dollar causing increased component prices. Now maybe it's not particularly fair that they offset this against the increased profit from international territories, but I'd rather that than a price hike in the US causing a lack of momentum in the platform and the resulting confidence crisis that may cause amongst developers.

    Now Adobe's price hikes are another matter.
  7. Canerican macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2006
    Yep, and think about what happens if Apple raises the price in the US, mainly think about where Apple is based from. You upset your biggest consumer base, you're toast. Apple needs to keep Americans happy, because if they don't we will go elsewhere in a second. I don't mean to sound rude, but Apple shouldn't care about the minority of its sales that go to countries other than America, besides building up a market share there. If Apple loses America, Apple fails.
  8. Can macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2007
    17 inch Mac Book PRO
    in US:
    2.799 USD
    15.077 NOK

    in Norway:
    4.453 USD
    23.990 NOK

    1.654 USD

  9. jackc macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2003
    They should also pass on the rest of their profits to consumers. Write your congressman.
  10. maestrokev macrumors 6502a


    Apr 23, 2007
    How much duty/tax does Australian Customs charge when you declare it upon return?

  11. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    I think that's really the key.. Suppose everyone who is outraged at the price Apple charges locally, in the OP's case, Australia. Then compare that to the price they would pay exporting it out of the country of origin, in this case the US.

    I'm suggesting to look at the total price, but not to go overboard. I.e., calculate purchase price, local taxes, shipping, import (duty) fees, but don't go so far as to price out plane tickets and accommodations as you visit your friendly US Apple store.

    My uneducated guess would be the price is about what you would pay buying it locally, obviously with a little flux in how the USD changes and compares to your currency.

    If there is a significant savings, then I've already suggested a plan of action. :D And the USD is doing so horribly, who knows what could happen.
  12. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    OK, so I did a little reading up on Australian import fees and boy is it complicated. Reading from the "Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States" linked to from www.customs.gov.au, when dealing with things of electronic nature, the duties are all over the board; The lowest being "free" and the highest I saw just skimming the document was 45%. That makes a USD$2000 MBP cost USD$2900!

    But it's way more complicated... First, not all items are considered under the same tariffs. As an example, a sewing machine may be applied a 35% duty on most of the parts but the included spools, thread and needles would be subject to different duties; Who has time to make this sort of valuation, let alone look up individual rates??

    Secondly, and this is the kicker... Since the item wasn't manufactured in the United States, the rates may not apply at all; In many cases you must look up the rate for the country of origin which, mind you, may be more than one.

    OK - My head's about to explode. I still think that the international rates are dictated primarily on US value + Customs duties, but there is no way I can see to reasonably find out what that cost would be, short of actually exporting a MBP.
  13. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand

    USA: US$129
    NZ: US$130


    Granted for hardware it's a bit higher but things are better here in NZ than they used to be.
  14. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    This has been discussed many, many times before.

    A quick search would have netted several threads discussing this exact "problem".
  15. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Question: why should they? Fluctuations in the global money market are natural; would you also like it if the price was increased dramatically the next time the dollar rises against the CAD? Has your nation's cost of living changed at all recently? I mean, I wouldn't be shocked if Apple did, seeing as they actually gave credits back to early adopters of the iphone (which I found bizarrely kind of them to do), but it's hardly something I would expect...

    Beside all that, the price of their manufacturing hasn't changed, since most of their products are built in China.
  16. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    MOST of that is based on bulk/resale ordering. For a single item it is most likely that they will charge based on product/value and the country it is shipped from. I suggest calling the customs office during normal business hours.
  17. G4DP macrumors 65816

    Mar 28, 2007
    So you guys in the states are basically saying that because your economy is in the ***** the rest of us should pay to bale you out?

    As for the average earning etc, money in the States goes far further than it does in the UK. My wife will testify!

    She used to earn $21,000 when she lived there, she could afford a place of her own a reasonable car, full health care, and could afford to go out three or four times a week if she wished. Now she earns £10,500 or so, we can't afford a car, our flat is tiny and we can't afford to go out.

    So the US is the only market that Apple should care about? So that's why all of it's profits come from overseas. Okay if everyone outside of the US looked elsewhere for the hardware, Apple would be up **** creak and stuck before you knew it. It's time American's realised the world does not revolve around you!

    As the OP said, we don't mind paying a premium, for the UK say the caost of the VAT, but charging us so much more. I don't think so.
  18. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Did you mean bail? Or did you mean that we're compacting the rest of the world into cubes?

    And that's not what anyone is saying. International companies set prices based on the economies they sell to, not on the dollar value of the nation of their headquarters. I notice that noone in Canada was bitching when the dollar was stronger and the prices (exchange value-wise) were comparable (or, customs included, cheaper) than in the US. Fluctuations in the monetary market are not the fault or responsibility of Apple.

    And by the way, buying a mac isn't going to do anything for our economy at all. New leaders could help, though...

    Sort of. The UK is also roughly the size of California. There are huge differences in both cost of living and standard income/poverty levels across the US (similar to, say, central London vs the Lake district, but more drastic). Average earning in, say, NYC is much higher, but then cost of living is much higher as well. Whereas small town Arkansas has an average income well below the "poverty line", but a house costs around $50k. It's all relative.

    But luxury items are definitely more expensive. When I lived there, rent and food were easy enough to cover, but cds were roughly 2 times as expensive as in the US.

    Where did she live that she could live so freely on $21,000? I know in Portland you can live somewhat comfortably off that, but in LA I made more than that and was living far lower than you guys are.

    Also, at current USD value, your wife actually makes slightly more now than she did over here. No relevance, just thought that was funny.

    And it's time the British stopped turning every small issue into an America bashing session! Seriously, it's an old record, we've all heard it, and nobody cares; the issue isn't even about nationalism, it's about a corporation, which has nothing to do with the point you are trying to extrapolate. It would be like me saying "It's time Britain realized that killing babies isn't ok" in an argument about Thorn.

    And how is the US the only market that Apple cares about? What you're REALLY saying is "I want, I want, things should be MY way, and I'll use misconceptions of international relations to prove my non-point". If anything, country-specific pricing protects the consumer, as the prices do not fluctuate based on the currency market. In other words, it's better that Australia pays 19% more now than Apple computers be priced far too expensively for anyone to afford four years ago. The prices are set to what the economy's market can bear. Supply and demand. What people are willing to pay.

    Nothing personal, just an attitude I'm sick of seeing. If you don't want Apple hardware, don't buy it. Period.

    It's like all those whiney idiots who bought first round iphones, then complained when the price dropped (even AFTER Apple offered them $100 credits, something they didn't have to do). The market works very specifically--you pay what you are willing to pay. If the price drops shortly after, that's just bad timing. It doesn't lower the value to you of the product you purchased, as you paid the amount you were willing to pay. The fact that Apple was willing to fork over $100 per customer is pretty impressive, actually.

    Then don't buy it. Stop whining and making innaccurate nationalistic tirades and unrealistic comments on international economic practices.
  19. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2005
    Little grey, chilly island.
    Have you looked at the statistics for sales outside America? Quite a handful of units shipped to us piddling small countries.
  20. booksacool1 macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2004
    I have to admit I feel a similar way. Apple has always been about the US of A. All their stock goes there first. Remember the iPod mini?

    I understand that apple doesn't want to update their prices often, but the Australian dollar has been very strong (or the US dollar very weak) for quite some time now.

    How bout passing on some of the savings to the consumer, apple?
  21. tripwire macrumors member

    Feb 20, 2005
    The only way you're going to get Apple to lower their prices in Europe and Australia is to just stop buying.
    I'd like to buy a new MB pro in jan, but if Apple wants 20% more than the US price (excluding sales tax/VAT), I'm just going to delay the upgrade.
  22. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Understandable that you feel that way, but A) Apple is based in the US and B) the US is pretty much their largest market currently, so it makes sense that they tailor their business practices to it; there is far less loss in products not selling in the US from a strictly customs/shipping standpoint, much less any others...

    A) You don't think they do? B) Why should they? How about you pass on any leftover money you have every month to the charity of your choice? The latter is far more logical, since you're the one claiming the superior position...
  23. Rolypoly macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2007
    Another Aussie here. I'm holding off on a mac mini purchase due to this pricing issue.

    The imports here are free for anything under $AUS1000 value. A GST of 10% is charged for the total value if you go over that.

    I looked at B&H and they didn't seem to have a problem with posting a mini to australia (Amazon wouldn't do it). It worked out about $AUS100 cheaper to buy from America, incl. postage (I decided against the plane ticket route :) ).

    The only thing stopping me at this point is I assume that my warranty would be void right? Or at least, I could only get it repaired if I sent it back to America? I don't suppose something like buying Apple Care can fix that?

    Actually, the other thing stopping me is waiting for the aussie dollar to gain a little more :)
  24. LaDirection macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2006
    Most companies' exchange rates are rip offs.

    Here in Canada, it's even worst. They have no excuse to charge us more. Our dollar is worth 1.06 US, Apple adjusted the prices of Leopard and Logic so that they are the same price as in the US, but today's Macbook update is still $150 overpriced. Some of our retailers like Zellers have begun to lower prices to bring articles on par with the US asking price and the Canadian government is lobbying other retailers to do the same.
  25. Rolypoly macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2007
    How can the government do that? Isn't Apple charging a higher rate to the retailers? So the retailers would then be $150 out of pocket if they did lower their prices?

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